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Sunday, 23 October 2011

Learning to Write (& read) - Halloween Style!

I have created  a set of 24 worksheets to help you teach early reading and writing skills. It is a Halloween version of our popular Sentence Maker resource. In this version, I have catered for four different ability levels - cut and paste, trace, copy, and independent writing. All these activities are very specific to students at different levels in the writing process.

Cut and Paste – for your newest learners, that are only beginning to understand the concept of a word, and a sentence and how we put them together to make meaning.


Trace – for students that have a good understanding of words and sentences, and are ready to learn to write themselves.


Copy – for students who are able to form most letters of the alphabet correctly and are learning to copy print from models.


Write – for students beginning to write independently and who can try to sound-out and write their own words

My daughter is always keen to see what I am designing and always wants me to print them out for her! This morning I took the opportunity to explore her keen interest in words and stories, by working with her on one of the cut & paste worksheets. As a 4 year old, she needs to learn to:

- attend to print
- discover what a word looks like
- understand that a sentence is made up of words
- understand that word order is important
- realise that we read and write from left to write
- understand that we need spaces between our words
- know that punctuation is important in writing and reading
- know that text and pictures are related

This is what we did, and I would do something very similar in the classroom.

First I told her we were going to write a "story sentence" about a cat. I wrote it on a long strip of cardboard and read aloud as I was writing - making sure she watched me write. I told her I was leaving a space between each word.


I read the sentence a few times, slowly and carefully pointing to each word. I am lucky that she is very keen and interested, so she was paying careful attention. You will need to encourage some students to do this! 

I then asked her to point and read WITH me, so we read and pointed together - quite a few times.

Then I told her I would cut up the sentence into words - making sure she could see me cut between the words in the space. It is important for little learners to see that a sentence is not a whole string of words that we say in one breath - it is made up of lots of individual words.  


Once cut up - I told her I was going to be a "little bit tricky" and mix them up! I then shuffled the cards around so they were in random order.


I then asked her if she remembered our "story sentence". To my delight, she remembered easily, and told me. I then asked her if she remembered just the first word. She was able to both tell me the word and point to it! (very proud mother moment here!!). I asked her to put the word where it should be, and then proceeded to work out all the other words with her. I will never forget the smile on her face as I showed her my delight in her "clever reading". I had to show her how to leave little spaces between the words.


 Of course, we now had to re-read the sentence we had put together.



It was then time to complete the worksheet. I told her it had little word cards that were just the same as our big cards, that needed to be put back into order. She enjoyed gluing the words into the correct order once again, and especially liked colouring the picture.




If you would like to find the worksheet I used, and more, you will find them HERE I have a Christmas collection on the way also, so keep a look out!